[Photos and text are from our family archives unless otherwise noted]
I have posted an extended version at August Phoenix Mercantile, which will be the permanent home for this article as I plan to shut down this blog in the Spring of 2023.
My grandmother’s grandfather, J.J. Carpenter, acquired land in Colorado in 1885 as part of President Roosevelt’s Homestead Act. He eventually built a lodge in Cebolla (near Gunnison, CO), that went by various names – Carpenter’s Fishing Lodge, Sportsman Hotel, and Sportsman’s Lodge. My mother grew up near there, my grandmother and her sister played there, and my grandmother and her husband worked there for a short time in the 1920’s.
It has long held fascination for me, not only because the Carpenters were ‘big fish in a little pond’ in Gunnison, but also because of a family story that claims that the Carpenter boys took guests out on hunting parties, and that one of those parties included Buffalo Bill Cody.
And, there was a bear, whom guests would feed with beer. Published stories list the bear’s name as Maude, though the third photo in this series has a note on the back of “Nellie Bear”. Needless to say, I have a lot of stories to track down…